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Posted at 05:11 PM ET, 03/30/2012

Health care law, Batman and David Simon on his high school newspaper: Comments of the week

Last week, we started a new feature in which we post some of the best reader comments we’ve seen in the past week.

Here are our picks for this week, in no particular order. You’ll notice that one of them is from a rather high-profile commenter, David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” who weighed in on a story about the student newspaper he edited when he attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School.

If you see a particularly smart, insightful or pithy comment you want to recommend for comments of the week, drop us a line at comments@washingtonpost.com.

Story: Supreme Court expresses doubts on key constitutional issue in health-care law

Slowly but surely, I am coming down against the Affordable Health Care Act, but it has very little to do with the mandate. The biggest problem with our current health care system is that it is overly complex, inefficient, and almost impossible for the ordinary consumer to navigate. It does not operate as a market in any sense, since patients often do not price procedures before obtaining them, and few people can actually choose their own private insurance company. Most are stuck with the employer’s choice.
The AHCA just builds on the flawed system we have already have, making it even more complex. As my husband stated last night, he would need a semester-long class to really understand the AHCA, and he has a graduate degree. Our rules should not be that complicated. Scrap it and start over. The justices are engaging in an interesting intellectual discussion about the limits of federal power, but all of this is ignoring the elephant in the room: our ridiculously flawed system for health care.
-Erinoconnell

Story: Admissions 101: What are you getting out of the last-chance April college visits?

I’d ask about things like co-op programs, summer intern placement, alum network and how close and active alums are with undergrads. If all other things are approximately equal, the school that does the most to ensure that their grads are on a path to employment might be the best choice.
-CowboyGirl1

Story: Who is the Route 29 Batman? This guy.

Not that a single need of mine matters against the symphony of needs of the kids that Batman helps, but my heart *needed* this story. Holy cow did this just make my week. First time the WaPo has ever done that.
And I hope Robinson is prepared for the inundation of doting ladies [queuing] stage right...
-125WMARION

Story: Open thread: Capitals vs. Sabres

JetBlue captain subdued by passengers after ‘erratic’ behavior, forcing emergency landing.
Turns out he just renewed his Caps season tickets
- FrustratedCapsFan

Story: TV reporter’s worries leads to Bethesda school pulling student newspaper

I used to edit the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Tattler. When I did so, we wrote a cover story on underage drug use at school and the pervasiveness of drugs in teenage culture. Faculty members were upset and there was outside coverage of the matter in the Montgomery Journal and the Washington Star. But the principal at the time, F. Thorton Lauriat, stayed rock solid. It was a student publication, by students and serving students. I never heard a word from the man, the issue was distributed and there was no suggestion of prior restraint by school officials. The faculty adviser was pretty damn mad at me, but hey, if you don’t make the faculty adviser mad, you’re probably not doing it right. Journalism isn’t there to make everyone happy or leave everyone undisturbed. Mencken called it foam from the lip of a mad dog. That overstates things a bit, as Mencken was apt to do -- but not by all that much.
Kudos to the staff of the Tattler for trying to do their job as they saw it. Shame on the school administration for seeking to restrain a student publication, and some modest credit to that administration for rethinking its position, albeit after prior restraint had been undertaken and achieved. That they saw the error in their thinking is creditable; that they first gave their journalism students a lesson in government censorship, disappointing.
I’ll try not to bring this up at graduation this year, commencement addresses adhering to a generally non-controversial tack.
David Simon
Tattler, 1976-78
Commencement Speaker, 2012

- AudacityofDespair

By and  |  05:11 PM ET, 03/30/2012

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